ACLU: Don't enforce transgender bathroom bill

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) --  The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina, the national American Civil Liberties Union, and Lambda Legal  wants a federal judge to keep authorities from enforcing North Carolina's law requiring transgender people to use public restrooms and showers corresponding to the gender on their birth certificate.

The groups made that request in court papers filed Monday. The ACLU's lawsuit is one of several challenging the legislation, passed in reaction to a Charlotte ordinance allowing transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity.

"HB 2 is causing ongoing and serious harm to transgender people in North Carolina and must be put on hold while it is reviewed by the court,” said Chris Brook, ACLU of North Carolina Legal Director. “The U.S. Justice Department has made it clear that HB 2 violates federal law. Governor McCrory and the North Carolina legislature wrote into state law discrimination against transgender people who just want to be able to use public facilities safely and securely.”

Gov. Pat McCrory sued the U.S. Justice Department last week, arguing that the state law is a "commonsense privacy policy" and that the Justice Department's position is "baseless and blatant overreach."

The government responded with its own lawsuit, saying the law amounts to "state-sponsored discrimination" and is aimed at "a problem that doesn't exist." The Justice Department is also seeking a court order declaring the law discriminatory and unenforceable.

The Forward Together movement led by the state NAACP scheduled a rally late Monday between the Legislative Building and the old Capitol building where Gov. Pat McCrory keeps his office. Participants will talk about their proposals to expand protections and the need for a higher minimum wage.

A similar rally three weeks ago at the opening of the General Assembly's annual work session ended with the arrests of more than 50 people inside the Legislative Building. Authorities say those arrested refused to leave the building or Speaker Tim Moore's office in protest of the law.

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